West Melbourne suspect accused of killing teen to receive competency evaluation

Gregory Barr charged with killing Andre Hutchinas June 25 in West Melbourne

VIERA, Fla. – Gregory Barr entered his competency hearing Tuesday without a wheelchair, a change from how the 26-year-old murder appeared last week at the Brevard County jail.

Defense attorney Greg Eisenmenger argued Barr suffered a head injury and a brain bleed that only started showing their effects after his arrest.

In West Melbourne police body camera video, officers said Barr is seen walking and then talking as he surrenders.

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“Get that gun and detain him,” an officer said.

“I’m not reaching for it,” the suspect replied.

Since allegedly shooting 19-year-old Andre Hutchinas, Eisenmenger is pleading to the court to release Barr so he can get the medical treatment he said he needs.

On Tuesday, Judge David Koenig reviewed Barr’s medical records and decided to appoint an expert to evaluate if Barr’s health makes him competent or not to continue with his defense.

“His physical injuries have been ignored by law enforcement since day one,” Eisenmenger said in court.

A prosecuting attorney replied that Barr declined medical attention from Brevard County Fire Rescue at the scene on Columbia Lane.

She continued telling Koening that Barr was speaking and demonstrating things fine when he was interviewed by West Melbourne police.

“The issues didn’t really begin until the jail,” the state attorney said.

Police said the Melbourne High School graduate and football alum tried calming down Barr and another man who were fighting at the large, dirt road party over spilled beer.

Police said Barr pulled a knife on both of them, then took a punch from Hutchinas and then Barr shot him.

Hutchinas’ mother, Lasondra Pollock, was joined by family in court wearing t-shirts in memory of her son.

“I know that justice will prevail for my son. He didn’t deserve what happened to him,” Pollock said.

Koenig said he’s giving attorneys until the end of the day Wednesday to submit their suggestions for who will be the expert to evaluate Barr.

About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.